United Empire Loyalists, in Canadian history, name applied to those settlers who, loyal to the British cause in the American Revolution, migrated from the Thirteen Colonies to Canada. Some emigrated during the Revolution, but the greatest number left the colonies in 1783–84, after the Treaty of Paris had failed to make adequate provision for the Loyalists. Numbers estimated at up to 50,000 went to British North America—principally to Nova Scotia and Quebec. In Nova Scotia, so many settled north of the Bay of Fundy that this region was separated from Nova Scotia and organized as the province of New Brunswick in 1784. Others, flocking to the region north of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, were numerous enough to cause the creation (1791) of Upper Canada (Ontario).
See studies by W. S. Wallace (1914, repr. 1972) and A. G. Bradley (1932, repr. 1972).
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